Sunday, December 06, 2009

Internet Airline News #14

Think a Lot of People are Using Wifi In the Air? Think Again

In the past, airborne wireless usage numbers have been tough to come by. Wifi provider Row 44 has been more forthcoming than AirCell, but Row 44 has such a small footprint right now that it’s not necessarily indicative of broader numbers. Virgin America has said it’s seeing good usage, but you would expect that on an airline that targets the Silicon Valley crowd. Now, we’re getting some numbers from AirCell that indicate what most have thought - usage isn’t good.

The problem with free in-flight internet

For a while now I’ve been a rather strong proponent of the theory that paid in-flight internet isn’t going to attract enough business to survive, at least not with the current pricing scheme.  I just don’t think that there are enough people out there willing to pay $8 or more per flight for the access that is available. [Ed. – Theoretically Alaska Air WiFi should not have this problem]

United Airlines offers a free "try before you buy" Wi-Fi session on all p.s. flights

Passengers on the United Airlines p.s. premium transcontinental service can enjoy one free Gogo Inflight Wi-Fi session. The promotion is done as a "try before you buy", which is a great way to get introduced to the joy of inflight Internet access.

Four pieces of great inflight WiFi news from Gogo

Inflight Internet provider Aircell released not one, but four different pieces of good news yesterday afternoon. We've translated all the PR-speak into the stuff you need to know if you want to stay up to date on the latest developments of Internet in the skies.

Allegiant Fights AirTran, Enters Orlando

For years we’ve heard Allegiant proclaim that they don’t really like competition. They’ve often boasted about how few of their routes have competitors, and they’ve had no qualms about walking away from a route that suddenly performs poorly thanks to new entrants (Greensboro comes to mind).

US Airways Adds Cash for the Next Couple Winters, Defers Airplanes

I hope our US readers had a nice Thanksgiving yesterday. Certainly the financial whizzes at US Airways (LCC) must have had a particularly satisfying meal yesterday. First they bulked up their airline with cash on Tuesday, and then they bulked up themselves with turkey.

Airports want passenger fee charge increased

If U.S. airports get their wish, air travelers will pay a few more dollars per trip next year. Citing escalating construction costs, airports have been lobbying Congress to raise the cap on the "passenger facility charge" that fliers pay as part of their airline tickets.

Inside Virgin America's "Stay Golden" launch event (photos)

I looked around and tried to absorb what was unfolding before me.VIP's and Virgin employees mingled on the patio of the beachfront W Fort Lauderdale. Nearby, a reality TV crew set up a shot for a new series about the lives of Virgin America flight attendants. Lights and loud music infiltrated the senses. It was a perfect backdrop for television, even though it didn't quite feel like reality.
And in a sense, it wasn't reality; but merely a splash of Richard Branson's reality.

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